Chapter 1: The Pain

Chapter 1: The Pain
From the book, “Like Dragons Did They Fight

You have tried everything. You are not stupid. You have decent self-discipline in almost all other areas of your life. You know better. It is not like someone has to motivate you to stop your sexual misbehaviors. You have hated it from the beginning…and still…it comes back again, and again, and again. It is almost impossible to talk to anyone about it. No one is going to understand. They are just going to tell you what you already know – it is bad to do and you should stop or you are going to “Hell”.
For a while you maintained hope. You have succeeded before in other things, you can succeed again. You have been a problem solver and you will solve this one also. But…it’s not working this time. You have begun withdrawing from those who will be disappointed. You have begun crossing things off your list of goals for your future – like serving a mission and getting married in the temple. You might be questioning your faith, or looking for ways to find fault in what you’ve always known and accepted to be true. You may also think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, that you’re defective, cursed, or must have been bad in the pre-existence. You could lie about your struggles – so many others do and get away with it. You have lied before, and it only made things worse. Now, you just avoid those who will be disappointed and/or judgmental. You catch yourself doing things to get others to leave you alone.
You find yourself identifying with the man in the New Testament (See Mark 9:17-29) who had already tried everything in hopes of finding a solution for his son’s illness, and nothing was working. Christ was not intimidated by the previous lack of success. He first recognized that there was a Dark Spiritual Element involved in torturing the young man. After the father begged for compassion, “Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.'” Not surprisingly, “the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
The problems this young man was dealing with were resolved by prayer and fasting. I am going to guess that you have already tried that. Two thousand years after this event, Satan has improved and diversified his fighting weapons. He has become really, really, good at what he does. He has had thousands of years of practice, and billions of people to practice on. You’ve had only a few years, and only yourself to work on. Whether you realize it or not, you are in the fight of your life, and the enemy you’re fighting uses weapons unknown to you. In this day and age, prayer, fasting, thought control and exercise are often not enough.
But we do not have to give up. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of all truth. In it we find answers on how to beat Satan, even when he uses his most “state-of-the-art” diabolical methods of attempting to destroy our lives. In many of the Book of Mormon stories, along with the power of God, the warriors had to use their bodies, the ferocity of dragons (Mosiah 20:11), and “stratagem” to defeat their enemies (Alma 43:30). The warrior will need to learn to use a combination of body and spirit weapons and methods if he is going to win this war.
We are told over and over again that “God…will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” So, many conclude that if they are still losing battles, it is because of some kind of personal weakness. I have found quite the opposite. It is important to read the rest of 1 Corinthians 10:13, “but will with the temptation also make a way to escape”. In some stories from the scriptures, like when the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians for a very long time before a way was provided for them to escape, if you have been enslaved by an addiction, it may take time and training at a whole new level in order to escape.
I am sad that what you have tried so far has not worked. My awareness of your pain is what drives me to write this book. We now have a much greater understanding of Satan’s modern war tactics. After years of “reconnaissance” and “battle-tested” experience, I am pleased to report that we now know how to beat him. It takes training, education and practice. But if you are determined, it can be done. As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 214).
I invite you to risk hoping again. I invite you to shed humiliation and hopelessness. I invite you to read on.
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About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.